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Bass Pro Shops against open carry?

Discussion in 'Activism Discussion and Planning' started by Ctone03, Mar 1, 2009.

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  1. Ctone03

    Ctone03 Member

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    How's it going folks?

    Just an FYI, I wanted to post an open carry incident that happened to my brother at the new Bass Pro Shops store in Ashland, VA.

    http://fateoflegions.blogspot.com/2009/03/bass-pro-shops-and-open-carry-policy.html

    This is C-tone's brother sharing an experience from this past Friday the 27th.

    An update for anyone that shops at Bass Pro Shops concerning their policy on Open Carry. This past Friday I road over to the Bass Pro in Ashland Virginia, walked through their greeters and 30 yards into the store before an employee followed behind me asking for a permit. I informed her that a permit was not necessary in the Commonwealth of Virginia and that my form of carry was completely legal. It was brought to my attention that no loaded and/or unlocked firearms were permitted in their facility, so I calmly walked back to her check point and unloaded my CW so that she may put a trigger-lock on it. I attempted to honor this policy despite that this makes it impossible to openly carry my firearm anywhere but my hands and that for all intensive purposes, this would scare more customers than a loaded firearm properly secured in a holster. I was thanked for my patience by having the muzzle of my own weapon waved in my face as this poorly instructed employee attempted to lock the trigger of my firearm, at which point I corrected her for this mistake and asked for my firearm back. Once retrieved it was returned to my vehicle, and I went in to purchase what I road an hour to pick up. This is my last trip to Bass Pro Shops, until such a time as they can rethink their policy and train their employees to do such simple tasks in a safe manner. Their store has the legal right to limit firearms on their property and I honor that despite my personal beliefs. This doesn't excuse dangerous, poorly educated, and poorly trained employees. Also note that their policy isn't properly marked and enforced at the door. I was barely noticed by an employee that was looking for such rights being exercised. I open carry because it is practical and legal for me, not because I need to flaunt or make people uncomfortable. People like this are why it draws so much negative attention. Having had this issue, I have done a basic Google search and found that many others have had these issues at other Bass Pro Shop locations. I don't appreciate this stupidity, but it's something to watch for.

    I am also typing up a formal complaint for their management, and will keep you all updated as to how they respond to/handle this.

    For all those interested, the store location is 11550 Lakeridge Parkway, Ashland Virginia, 22305.

    Hunter0811


    I thought ya'll would be interested.

    CTone
     
  2. Ric in Richmond

    Ric in Richmond Member

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    The update on the linked page....


    Hunter0811

    Update : I received a response early this morning from the store manager, that reads as follows.

    "Seth,

    I am sorry, that is unacceptable. Can you tell me who it was that stopped you and I will rectify immediately. We have folks coming in here all of the time. You are right. It is your right and my right to carry arms. I will fix.


    Thanks,

    GB

    Greg Bulkley

    General Manager

    Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World

    Hanover County, Virginia"
     
  3. DocBoCook

    DocBoCook Member

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    ok, are they gonna fix the "No open carry" part? I'm lucky, I CHP in Newport News and I visit the Hampton store. No issues, but a buddy of mine tried to OC, and got stopped? How would they feel if they were robbed and people were getting shot and one of many people who politely had their weapon trigger locked couldn't do anything to save lives??
     
  4. Defense Minister

    Defense Minister Member

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    Good job, Ctone03! This is what responsible gun owners need to be doing: letting people know that they can't walk all over our rights, or the rights of our fellow Americans!
     
  5. Docgmt

    Docgmt Member

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    Bass Pro asked if I was armed as I walked in the door

    I went to the BPS during the grand opening in Ashland and they stopped me at the door and asked if I had a weapon. I did not lie to them I had a CCW and they locked it up until I was leaving the store. Have not been back since.
     
  6. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    The way the OP's brother handled this is a good example of how to take a complaint "up the chain".

    Start with a formal letter of complaint to the GM for the particular facility. If you don't get a satisfactory response then wear them out. If you do get a satisfactory response remember to praise them for recognizing the problem and committing to correcting it (gotta give positive as well as negative reinforcement).
     
  7. Ctone03

    Ctone03 Member

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    Follow up on Bass Pro Shops

    Talking with my brother this morning, I don't think he's going to let them off the hook so easy. Clarification on their policy regarding open and concealed carry is a must, and I would strongly recommend that they educate their employees as to what the law is.

    If they don't allow firearms to be carried, then they need to post it at the door so I know where to not spend my money.

    I'll post more follow up as I get it.
     
  8. 06

    06 Member

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    If there are signs up I usually ask to speak to the manager/owner(preferable) and explain that as long as the sign remains I will shop elsewhere. My firearm is for my protection(and others if necessary) and I will not be disarmed in order to shop at a store. Too many out there that welcome an armed money spender-that is what they are in business for--to trade money for goods. wc
     
  9. Wolfebyte

    Wolfebyte Member

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    Due to living in the sticks and not knowing my way around the inside of a Bass Pro Shop, my bride and I stopped by one in Dallas on our way back from the East Coast..

    As I stepped inside, past the fireplace there was a turnstile entrance with a gentleman at a podium. The sign said "All weapons must be checked" ..

    I asked him, since I had a conceal carry if I needed to go put my weapon up in my car. He was very polite about it and explained that that sign was for the people going to the indoor shooting range, not for people that conceal carry.

    He said the store did not prohibit CC, but he thanked me for asking.
     
  10. Seth0811

    Seth0811 Member

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    Docgmt, did you file any kind of complaint over the concealed issue? I will be either emailing the manager again today for further clarification (as to whether I was subject to store policy or personal opinion), or calling him directly. I would gladly bring mention of that as well, if you so proffered. (Hunter0811)
     
  11. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Guys,

    The Activism forum isn't a general discussion forum. Please stay focused on the issue at hand of dealing effectively with a retailer who doesn't post and then has issue with carrying.
     
  12. kilo729

    kilo729 Member

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    They also refuse to transfer anything "tactical."

    I tried to use them as an FFL transfer for an ar-15 lower and they told me that, lost a couple customers with that move.
     
  13. DHJenkins

    DHJenkins Member

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    The best bet is to go back to the manager, ask if he's got a few minutes to talk to you, and then give him paper copies of all the relevant local codes/laws/statutes. Explain that carrying openly is allowed by the law.

    I doubt it will have an effect, though - people who take advantage of their gun rights are in the vast minority and have been painted as "gun nuts" by the media. A gun without a badge makes people nervous, (especially at a big-box chain store) and nervous people are not happy customers. Expecting anyone working in a chain retail store to "know the law" is unrealistic, as is expecting them to even entertain the possibility of losing revenue to protect your right.

    Plus, if open carry isn't a common occurance, you should expect to be hassled about it so it isn't so irritating when you are. Nice guy with a gun goes over much better than angry armed man, and since the perception of gun ownership is unfortunately more important than the facts, it can only help the cause.
     
  14. Dorkfish

    Dorkfish Member

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    Bass Pro's corporate policy is that ALL firearms must be unloaded, locked by their staff, and transported directly to the range. (if yours has a range) If you open carry, what's the difference that and if someone picks up a rifle, shotgun, or pistol and compliments that with ammo the day of transfer, then starts shooting? In their eyes: nothing. They know CCW holders are less likely to "advertise" that they are carrying to the general public...doesn't draw unwanted attention or provoke those eligible for the Darwin Awards to test the Barney Fife capabilities with what someone is open carrying.

    Depending on the State and specific store, CCW holders might be exempt from unloaded check-ins.

    I've been informed that CCW holders in my specific region are exempt, but I don't want to disclose where, just in case their corporates are watching and decide to make it 100% on check-ins. However, I've heard through the rumor mill that it ONLY applies to transport to the range. Should you be caught in their store(s) concealed and not to-or-from the range, they'll call you out on it. Hasn't happened to me, but I know someone who has been addressed.
     
  15. tinygnat219

    tinygnat219 Member

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    One can always state that Greentop, and Gander Mountain just down Rte. 1 don't have a problem with Open Carry, and they are just happy receiving your business.

    I recommend Green Top though. Good employees, good selection, and ok prices.
     
  16. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Hey Dorkfish,

    Here in PA, all the Bass Pros, Cabelas, and Gander Mts. have signs on the door saying all guns must be unloaded. Next line says "This does not apply to CCW firearms."

    Perhaps that's because their corporate policy would make no difference in the face of PA state law, but it is what it is.

    -Sam
     
  17. DocBoCook

    DocBoCook Member

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    If they EVER asked me, I would be honest, but if they said I had to lock it up, I would not only leave the store, but go to the nearest office supply store, get a large presentation board, a sharpie and start protesting. And telling gun owners not to shop there
     
  18. gossamer

    gossamer Member

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    I beg to differ because I find challenging people on their rights vs. my rights just puts people on the defensive. My right to the second amendment doesn't trump someone else's rights to dictate what can and can't happen on their property and I deeply respect that right as well. I've got no interest in lecturing people about what goes on in their property/store/restaurant etc.

    What responsible gun owners should do is let these businesses know that we respect their rights and ask they do the same. That we understand that it is PERFECTLY WITHIN THEIR RIGHTS to limit people from carrying on their property AND we should also let the know that we will spend our money elsewhere if they insist on this policy.

    I've got no truck with anyone telling me what I can and can't do on their property. Just like I'm not going to have anyone come on MY property and tell me what I can do. However, when it comes to retail stores limiting carry in their store, the ONLY recourse we should be practicing is telling them we will spend our money elsewhere.

    Be polite, remind them you are a paying customer and ammo costs money, respect their rights, and write a letter to the relevant authority reminding them that you vote with your checkbook.

    The OP did the right thing by directing the unsafe actions to the store manager and asking him for action.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  19. Sniper X

    Sniper X Member

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    A Sportysmans Warehouse tried that with me till I schooled them on the pitfalls of it. I was OC and they asked me to check my weapon at the counter which was "manned" by a young woman who looked all of about 17 and when she saw my 1911, she quivered at the potential of trying to safely unload a 1911 that was "cocked and locked". She called a manager who allows me to this day to carry in the store.
     
  20. butters

    butters Member

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    +1 gossamer. Well said.

    I would urge anyone contemplating OC to do so with common sense. There are some people that will OC anywhere just to prove a point and many times it leads to a business banning weapons outright. I am not telling anyone here what to do and where to carry, but a little common sense and courtesy will go a long way especially in trying to educate the general public about 2A rights and responsible gun ownership.

    That said I would think that Bass Pro Shops would have better policies and procedures in place since a large population of their customers own and carry guns.
     
  21. Seth0811

    Seth0811 Member

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    For those interested in the exact message sent, here it is copied directly from my email. Very similar to the post, and polite. I do show respect for their policy on their property and am not out to "show off". I can't say I would define exercising the right as flaunting even so.

    " I would like to file a formal complaint about your store (location 11550 Lakeridge Parkway, Ashland VA) and the training of your employees. While entering your store to shop on February 27th, I was stopped 30 yards into store and asked to show a permit for my openly carried firearm. I politely responded that in the Commonwealth of Virgina, a permit is not legally required for the open carry of a firearm and that I was within my legal rights. I was informed that your store policy prohibits open carry, which is also your legal right. I was asked to allow my firearm be unloaded and a trigger lock placed on it. This policy infringes state given rights and asks legal citizens to openly carry their firearm in their hand. I believe this is more likely to scare customers than a legal firearm carried in a holster, which is no longer an option once a trigger lock has been placed. My complaint concerns the unprofessional handling of my firearm by your employee. During the course of struggling to place a lock on the trigger of my firearm, your employee blindly pointed my own firearm in the direction of myself. I calmly corrected the employee and asked for my firearm back, returning it to my vehicle and continuing what may be my last visit to your store. I disagree with your policy but I have tried to abide by it. Properly marking your storefront, training your employees to exercise proper firearm safety (It's very basic, treat every firearm as if it is loaded), and informing your employees of State Law so that they may be polite to customers in the future are expectations that should easily be met in return. I would like a response, as would the readers on the blog that I am referencing this issue to and updating.


    Seth"
     
  22. farmrboy

    farmrboy Member

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    It's hard to believe that a sporting goods store that sells firearms doesn't properly train ALL employees how to safely handle guns, regardless of what dept. they work in. They should also be well versed in company policy and state gun law. If it's not company policy to provide training, then the GM should have enough sense to make that decision. Allowing an inexperienced/untrained employee to take a customer's personal weapon and try to unload, or even just inspect it is too big of a liability issue IMO. Also, making people unload and lock PD? Then who's left to protect us? Sounds pretty liberal to me
     
  23. Clipper

    Clipper Member

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    I was in the Michigan Bass Pro in January, and OC'd with no problem. The LP guy at the door did make out a check slip for me just in case, so I could get back out without someone thinking I was stealing guns, but that was it.
     
  24. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Uh, I've never been at a gun range that wasn't "against open carry."

    Don't conflate safety rules with anti-gun politics.
     
  25. DHJenkins

    DHJenkins Member

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    Can't carry a loaded gun into a gun show, either...
     
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